Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool at lunch time yesterday will be remembered mostly for Luis Suarez refusing to shake Patrice Evra’s hand before kick-off but the result keeps Sir Alex Ferguson’s team in contention for the Premier League title, after taking 7 points against out of 9 against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in recent weeks.
Wayne Rooney scored a brace in a matter of minutes, at the second half, as Manchester United looked set to pick up a comfortable 3 points over rivals Liverpool. The defending Premier League champions deserved the victory as the better side in both halves, despite somewhat hanging on at the end after Luis Suarez scored in the final 10 minutes.
Ryan Giggs’ corner was flicked on by a defender for Wayne Rooney to thump Manchester United in front from close range inside 2 minutes of the restart. Just 3 minutes later, Jay Spearing was caught in possession which lead to Rooney finding himself one-on-one with Jose Reina and scoring his fourth goal in two games. Rio Ferdinand didn’t deal well with a free kick in the 80th minute that fell into the path of Luis Suarez who gave Liverpool a lifeline.
Antonio Valencia, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick took control in midfield against the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Jay Spearing. Carrick had a game-high 92 completed passes in midfield as the team completed 88% of their 593 attempts.
Other than Suarez’s goal, Glen Johnson was the only other Liverpool player to test David de Gea in this match; forcing 2 saves from the Spaniard as Liverpool lacked a cutting edge in the final third. At the other end, Reina saved once each from Rooney, Welbeck, Scholes and Rafael.
Liverpool were poor in possession and failed to really threaten the Manchester United defence throughout the game. Kenny Dalglish’s side have scored fewer goals than any other side in the top 9. Relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers have scored 8 more, and Bolton Wanderers have scored as many.
Manchester United’s victory will be tainted by Luis Suarez refusal to shake Patrice Evra’s hand before kick-off but United should focus on the points that will hopefully make it 20-18 in the north-west rivals league title race.
Manchester United travel to Amsterdam on Thursday for their Europa League tie with Ajax. The next time Sir Alex Ferguson’s side play in the Premier League is on 26 February, at Norwich.